Targeted or untargeted? The initial assessment of a targeted health insurance program for the poor in Georgia
The government of Georgia launched a Medical Insurance Program, a targeted health insurance program, in June 2006 to provide health insurance to the poor. Using administrative data from June 2006 to December 2006, this paper estimates the initial impact of the Medical Insurance Program relative to an untargeted health insurance program and assesses whether the benefits have reached the poorest among those eligible. The paper presents two main findings: first, the Medical Insurance Program has significantly increased beneficiaries’ utilization of public health insurance for acute surgeries and inpatient services; and second, the benefits have reached the poorest among the beneficiaries. However, the findings are only applicable to the first six months of implementation and more analysis is required to understand the dynamics and long term impact of the reform.
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